Wow! Can you believe it’s already June! Where did this year go?
We’ve been pretty busy. Looking back to Memorial weekend, we did the usual barbecue’s with friends. We stayed up way too late two nights of the weekend which really made me realize that we’re not in our 20’s anymore. It takes days for us to recover after being up past midnight! Doing that two out of three nights is painful! That’s just wrong! How did I get old?
We received some bad news the other day about a friend of ours who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and cancer of the liver. For Patty and me, learning this news hit way too close to home. Everything we went through over this past year came back to us. I just had this sickening feeling in my stomach when I heard the news, similar to the one I felt when I learned the news about Patty. Patty felt the same.
Our friend and her sister are very close… they live just blocks from each other and do pretty much everything together. This will be a difficult road for her, but she is a very strong woman. I’m confident that the support system between her and her sister, her husband, family and friends will help her on her journey.
I talked with a man I know about six months ago who was asking about Patty. This was back when Patty was in the throes of chemo. I told him she was doing as well as could be expected at the time. He shared a story with me that he said he hasn’t told many people. Two years ago this coming August, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He said it was bad and the doctors told him since it had spread pretty much throughout his liver, that there wasn’t anything they could do for him other than make him as comfortable as possible. The prognosis was not good at all as they predicted he’d live for another six months at most. He said it took a while but he finally accepted their prognosis. Even though he accepted it, he didn’t give up researching any possible treatments to buy him some time. He told me his research revealed a doctor at UCSD Medical Center who was trying a new technique for people with liver cancer. He met with the doctor as soon as he could. The doctor told him that people could survive with only 27% of their liver. The liver regenerates itself and, in time, can re-grow back to its original size. He told me he had nothing to lose so they scheduled his surgery. The doctor removed 70% of his liver, taking the cancer with it. Long story short, here he is, 22 months out of surgery, his liver has grown back to 100% of its original size and he’s cancer free! Amazing story!
Cancer has been in the backseat of our lives for a couple of months now. It’s not the first topic of discussion for us. Don’t get me wrong, it’s brought up pretty much every day, but it’s not the main topic, until we learned of our friend. Learning of her diagnosis brought cancer back into the forefront. Like I said, it hit too close to home. Patty told me the other night that if there was one thing she learned through her battle, it’s that life can be unexpectedly taken away from you in a second. It can be taken away by cancer… taken away by a tornado like the poor people in Joplin,Missouri… taken away on your daily drive to work. You never know. This may sound a bit cliché but it’s so easy to take life for granted. Most of us have our health other than a few new aches and pains we feel when we hit our 50’s. We have our family and friends who are all doing well. It’s just the way it is… day in and day out. As a result, we get complacent about life and take it for granted. Patty said once you face a life threatening disease, it all changes. You appreciate everything!
I guess what I’m saying is that there is always hope. Never lose sight of that! Hope is the trust that circumstances in the future will be better. It’s not a wish that things will get better, but an actual belief and trust in God from deep within your heart, even when there may be no evidence that anything will change. Only God knows the outcome of each and every one of our lives. We just need to believe in Him and have hope and faith for a positive outcome. It all comes down to God’s will.
“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26